Student ‘Idol’-izers tune in to search for a superstar

By on September 19, 2002

Following a summer of anticipation, one of America’s biggest talent searches has ended. An estimated 18.2 million Americans watched as “American Idol: Search for a Superstar” came to its conclusion on Sept. 4 when Kelly Clarkson took home the title.
The 20 year old girl next door from Burleson, Texas was the last woman standing after the grueling past few months of competition. Her emotional and soulful delivery of “A Moment Like This” solidified her status as “American Idol” and ended the three month long search for a superstar.
Hosts Brian Dunkleman and Ryan Seacrest announced the results of the votes and Clarkson looked shocked upon hearing herself named the winner.
She immediately embraced runner up, Justin Guarini, the 23 year old from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He accepted the decision affably saying afterwards “no one deserves it more than this woman.”
The winner was chosen by the “expert panel of judges” and viewers who cast their votes, with 58 percent going to Clarkson and 42 to Guarini.
The three judges that were included in this program were singer and choreographer Paula Abdul, music industry V.P. Randy Jackson, and the quick-witted Brit record label owner, Simon Cowell.
Many students on campus were included in this voting process by phoning in each week to decide which two performers should advance to the next round.
“I made it a point to tune in every week to the show,” said sophomore and avid viewer Christine Rock. “I called in after every show and voted for who I thought was the best the night. It so happened to be Kelly each week.”
The panel of celebrity judges critiqued each contestant, with Cowell making blunt comments and callous comments. Ultimately his snide comments brought in viewers.
“His comments made people watch,” said senior Niki Lacey.
The newly named “2002 American Idol” has certainly come a long way from just a few months ago when she was working as a cocktail waitress.
Her single, “A Moment Like This,” which she sang on the night of Sept. 4, will be her first single released on Sept. 17 under her new contract with RCA records. Her full album will be released in November.
In addition to a contract with a major label, Clarkson is kicking off her newly awarded superstar status doing promotions at assorted media events. She will be appearing in a 28-city tour with her runner up and the remaining 10 contestants.
The top 20 contestants will also appear for a two-hour television special broadcast on Fox on Sept. 23.
The program quickly became a staple of American pop culture after it premiered with nearly 10,000 hopefuls eager to reach the coveted spot as “American Idol.”
The 22-episode show, which mimicked the British show “Pop Idol,” has led the Nielson ratings to rise and an American Idol II is reportedly going to hit this winter.


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